Wayne Kramer, influential co-founder of rock band MC5, dies aged 75
Posted by  badge Boss on Feb 03
Wayne Kramer has died (Picture: Ian Dickson/Shutterstock)

Wayne Kramer, co-founder and guitar-vocalist of rock band MC5, has died aged 75.

The band confirmed the news on their official pages, writing, alongside a picture of Kramer: ‘Wayne S. Kramer “PEACE BE WITH YOU” 🕊️

‘April 30, 1948 – February 2, 2024.’

A cause of death has not been revealed.

The band, formed in 1963, released their debut album in 1969, titled Kick Out The Jams.

Fans and the other musicians have taken to social media to pay tribute after the news.

Kramer died aged 75 (Picture: Ian Dickson/Shutterstock)

Singer Alice Cooper shared an image on his own Instagram page, writing: ‘Today we lost longtime friend – and sometimes collaborator – Wayne Kramer of the MC5. RIP.’

Rage Against The Machine guitarist Tom Morello also penned a lengthy tribute, writing: ‘Brother Wayne Kramer was the best man I’ve ever known. He possessed a one of a kind mixture of deep wisdom & profound compassion, beautiful empathy and tenacious conviction.

‘His band the MC5 basically invented punk rock music and was the only act to not chicken out and performed for the rioting protestors at the 1968 Dem National Convention.

‘I’m pretty sure every album I’ve ever worked on the rawest fastest track had the working title “MC5” (“Sleep Now In The Fire” for example).

Tom Morello shared a heartfelt tribute (Picture: Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

‘Wayne came through personal trials of fire with drugs and jail time (the Clash song “Jail Guitar Doors” was written about Wayne) and emerged a transformed soul who went on to save countless lives through his tireless acts of service.’

He added: ‘I’ve played with Wayne in prisons and watched him transform lives, he was just unbelievable. Wayne had a soft heart but was also Detroit tough as nails.

‘A couple months ago (at 75 years old) Wayne beat the crap out of an intruder in his home that menaced his family. And whenever any charity or union or human rights activist event was coming up Wayne would always heed the call. ALWAYS.’

Morello concluded: ‘Wayne was a guardian angel to so many. But mostly Wayne was a great friend, a beautiful comrade, and an older brother who helped me to forgive myself for making mistakes, take chances with my music, and never be afraid to help those in need.

Kramer released a memoir in 2018, The Hard Stuff (Picture: Todd Williamson/Invision for Ciroc/AP, File)

‘The countless lives he’s touch, healed, helped and saved will continue his spirit and legacy. He was like a non-fiction Tom Joad. Whenever and wherever any of us kick out the jams, Brother Wayne will be right there with us.’

MC5 were made of vocalist Rob Tyner, guitarists Kramer and Fred ‘Sonic’ Smith, bassist Michael Davis and drummer Dennis Thompson.

Tyner died in 1991 aged 46, and Smith died in 1994, also aged 46. They both died of heart attacks.

In 2018, Kramer published his memoir, The Hard Stuff, and in recent months was said to be planning a world tour for the latest incarnation of the MC5, with new music.

Kramer is survived by his wife and son.